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Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels prediction and pick for Saturday. MLB expert Mike Spector offers a player prop bet and a play on the total for tonight's Astros-Angels matchup.

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels Prediction: Can Verlander and Syndergaard Kick Off the Rust?

The Houston Astros have won four of the last five American League West division championships and three of the previous five pennants. Yet, bettors have had a tremendous opportunity to make good money on one of the league’s most dominant teams the last two days, as the Astros have been underdogs in both games to start the season.

It made sense that Houston was underdogs on Opening Day, considering they were facing Los Angeles’ Shohei Ohtani. But the Astros pushed enough runs across the plate and tied a Major League record with their tenth consecutive Opening Day victory. 

Yesterday, the Astros were surprising underdogs while facing the Angels’ Reid Detmers last night. All Houston did was explode for 13 runs in a dominating seven-run victory. 

So how will the Astros fare in their first game as favorites this season?

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Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels Prediction

Tonight’s Astros-Angels pitching matchup is fascinating, as Justin Verlander faces Noah Syndergaard, with the latter making his Angels debut. It is much-watch television to see what we will get out of each starting pitcher. Verlander has not made a regular-season start since July 2020, as he took all of last season to recover from Tommy John surgery. Syndergaard is in a similar boat, missing all of 2020 and most of 2021 as he recovered from Tommy John as well.

With so much unknown about what we will get out of each pitcher, it is hard to handicap the game. However, one player prop we absolutely love is Verlander’s under of 6.5 strikeouts, which is juiced to +110. 

Verlander’s over/under numbers of outs he will record has been set at 16.5, so it is wishful thinking that 39.4% of his projected outs will come via strikeout. Houston will likely be cautious with the two-time Cy Young winner in his first start in nearly two years, and we do not expect him to have his usual dominant stuff with this much rust to kick off.

From a full-game perspective, we are siding with the over 8.5 runs. Houston is coming off a game where it blasted six home runs, their fifth six-homer game (16th in franchise history) since 2019. Aledmys Diaz hit his first home run of the season, filling in for Yuli Gurriel, who will not rejoin the team this weekend as he is on the paternity list. Alec Bregman homered for the second time in as many days, and even rookie Jeremy Pena got in on the act with his first career home run. Houston’s lineup is in midseason form, but we also expect Los Angeles’ lineup led by Ohtani and Mike Trout to have their best offensive game of the season tonight.

Verlander’s strikeout prop is our stronger bet, but we are also sprinkling some on the over.

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels Pick

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels Over/Under Movement

Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest


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